I have lots of 8 1/2″ by 11″ waste paper, mostly early drafts of various novels.
I can’t just throw that much paper away, and even pitching it in the recycling bin makes me anxious.
I’ve found two nifty ways to recycle my fledgling masterworks, totally guilt-free.
The first one is making cool little plant pots which are MUCH better than the ones you can buy. (I’ll tell you about the second way later. Hint: It involves worms!)
Anyway, to make the pots, all you need are some sheets of waste paper, an 8-9 ounce can (I use spray Febreze), moistened potting mix and a waterproof tray or cookie sheet.
Create the Planting Pot
1. Fold the sheet of paper lengthwise and cut or tear it along the folded edge. You will have two 4 1/2″ by 11″ strips.
2. Set the can on its side at one end of the strip, with the base about 2 inches up from the cut edge. Roll the paper around the can to create a cylinder.
3. Starting at the outer seam, fold the free end of the cylinder inward. Make three more folds inward to create the base of the pot, pressing firmly to make the folds as flat as possible.
4. Slip the pot off of the can or bottle. Starting at the outer seam, fold the top 1/2 to 1 inch of the pot inward to create a stable rim.
5. Hold the pot with one hand, with some of your fingers on the bottom to keep it closed. Fill the finished pot to the top with moistened seed-starting medium and set it in a waterproof tray.
6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 to make as many “pots” as desired.+
Plant a seed or two in each pot, then gather all the pots onto a tray and water.
When you’re ready to plant the seedlings, dig a hole deep enough to bury the pot so the rim is below the soil surface; exposed newspaper could help wick water away from the plant. (If needed, tear off a bit of the rim so it doesn’t stick up into the air.) In moist soil, the roots will quickly grow through the paper sides of the pot.
Spared the shock of being shaken out of a plastic pot at planting time, your seedlings will get off to a strong start, and you’ll soon be enjoying an abundant harvest.